Congressman Thomas Massie speaking to supporters at a dinner in Washington, D.C. (photo by Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons)

Massie compares vaccine mandates to Holocaust; intern resigns in protest

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples

On Wednesday, Rep. Thomas Massie posted a tweet comparing vaccine mandates to the numbers tattooed on concentration camp prisoners during the Holocaust.

Massie deleted the tweet soon after, but not before it had generated a huge backlash.

As reported in the Herald-Leader on Thursday:

Rabbi Shlomo Litvin, a Jewish leader in Lexington, described Massie’s tweet as “horrific.”

“This comparison is offensive, it’s ahistorical and amoral,” he said in a statement. “This shameful tweet shows tremendous ignorance of public policy, history, and a horrible lack of judgment. While we are relieved the congressman deleted the ill-thought-out tweet, such comments must be repudiated.”

Litvin said he has reached out to Massie’s office to ask for an opportunity to educate him on the history of the Holocaust.

“While the Congressman’s office has refused to speak to Jewish leaders repeatedly in the past, we continue to hope for more representation and communication in the future. Our community deserves it,” Litvin said.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reached out to the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, and got this response from Jackie Congedo, director of community relations:

"This was extremely hurtful, offensive and beyond the pale of acceptable civic debate," she said. She said comparing vaccination requirements with genocide cheapens the memory of Holocaust victims.

"There is one thing comparable to the Holocaust. It’s the Holocaust," Congedo said.

Intern resigns

In response to the tweet, Andrew Zirkle, an intern in Massie's DC office, resigned his internship, effective immediately. He posted his resignation letter on Twitter.

He also shared his thoughts about the tweet on Twitter:

To date, Massie has not commented on the deleted tweet, the backlash to it, or the resignation of Zirkle.


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Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)